Stress Awareness & Care Month – Stretched Beyond April During COVID-19 Pandemic
With COVID-19, it’s time to check in – and to keep checking in – with ourselves. Many of us have been staying home to stay safe. Others have had to leave home to do work that keeps our counties running. All of us must do our best to shelter in place to tamp down COVID-19 spread. Either way, we may all be faced with new levels of stress and strong, hard feelings.
Pandemics or spreading disease outbreaks can cause stress in many forms, such as:
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- Problems sleeping or focusing.
- Greater use of alcohol, tobacco or other mixtures.
- And in the end, weaker immune systems.
You can help cut stress with these actions –
- Take breaks—There is a lot of news out there. Take some time away from the news and do something healthy you enjoy.
- Take care of your body—Stretch, take deep breaths, eat healthy, and sleep.
- Make time to unwind—Try new projects or rekindle your love of old hobbies you at last have time for.
- Link with others—Call or text family or friends. Talk to people you trust about how you are feeling.
Those who have a history of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues may feel more stress or worsening symptoms. If you or someone you care about are feeling overwhelmed call:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- San Joaquin County Crisis Phone (there 24/7): 209-468-8686
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
- Stanislaus County Health Services: Call: 1-888-376-6246 for county program information on mental health and alcohol and drug services
Here are some ideas from the California Surgeon General’s Playbook on stress management:
|To members of Health Plan of San Joaquin, we are saying –
If you are feeling overwhelmed, or worried about family members:
HPSJ members and all community residents can bookmark https://www.hpsj.com/coronavirus/ for these and more resources.
For HPSJ Providers, there is the COVID-19 Provider Updates page, at https://www.hpsj.com/covid-19-provider-information/. This page features the article, Mitigating health impacts: Secondary Stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic (April 13, 2020).
Health Plan of San Joaquin, a not-for-profit, public health plan, has been serving members and the community since 1996. Located in the heart of California’s multicultural Central Valley, local HPSJ is the leading Medi-Cal managed care provider, serving over 91% of Medi-Cal recipients in San Joaquin County and over 67% in Stanislaus County. HPSJ offers a broad network of providers and works closely with doctors to develop programs and services to ensure quality health care for almost 340,000 members who are mostly working families and children, as well as seniors and disabled residents.
During this time of COVID-19 pandemic, HPSJ staff are working safely, taking all precautions recommended by local and state public health authorities. In this way, we are still here for our members – providing information, access to health care, and support, for our providers – offering practical supports as we remain open for business with no interruptions, and for our diverse, vulnerable community – where we continue our long-tradition of collaboration with organizations as we offer current health-related information and sources for help during this chaotic time.
Jill Center, Senior Communications Specialist
email@example.com; Tel: 209.461.2372; Cell: 415-730-5958